6.9 strong quake hits Papua New Guinea

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International desk, Mar 30: A strong magnitude 6.9 earthquake has struck off the cost of Papua New Guinea’s New Britain island, the US Geological Survey (USGS) says.Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coastlines.

The quake struck at a shallow depth of 10km (six miles), around 162km from the town of Rabaul, on New Britain island.

It hit near the coast at around 07:25 on Friday (21:25 GMT on Thursday). There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Dellie Minding, a receptionist at the Rabaul Hotel in the east of New Britain, told Reuters news agency the earthquake had been felt, with many guests running outside, but there had been no damage.

At the Rapopo Plantation Resort on the coast, receptionist May Dovon said she had not heard of any casualties or damage, the agency adds.

“We felt the earthquake, everything was moving so we went out of the building,” the receptionist told Reuters. “Nothing was damaged.”

The country is still recovering from a magnitude 7.5 quake on 26 February.

At least 100 people died in Enga province, where massive landslides buried whole villages.

It took weeks to establish the full extent of damage in the remote, worst-affected areas.